East Lansing — While there was some doubt as to who would start at quarterback for Michigan State last week at Maryland, there doesn’t appear to be any similar uncertainty as the Spartans prepare to host Ohio State on Saturday.
Junior Brian Lewerke, who missed the Purdue game two weeks ago but returned to the starting role last week despite an injured shoulder, is listed as the No. 1 quarterback this week for the Spartans. Last week, the depth chart listed Lewerke OR Rocky Lombardi.
Coach Mark Dantonio made it clear again during his weekly press conference Tuesday that Lewerke is the starting quarterback and that is the offense’s foundation.
“Brian Lewerke is our starting quarterback,” Dantonio said. “If he was hurt, he would not be playing. Is he 100 percent? Nobody's ever 100 percent at this point in the season.
“We’re not afraid to use Rocky. ... If we're not having success, then we will go to him.”
Lombardi, the redshirt freshman, started in the victory over Purdue, throwing for 318 yards and two touchdowns. However, Lewerke was back under center at Maryland, even though he admitted after the game he was not at 100 percent and still had some pain in his right shoulder when he threw the ball.
The numbers back up the notion that Lewerke wasn’t healthy as he was just 11-for-20 for 87 yards with an interception. The wind was gusty at Maryland, which made it tough to throw, but Lewerke did not look healthy. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by Lombardi, who was 0-for-2.
MSU coach Mark Dantonio on facing Ohio State The Detroit News
Senior running back LJ Scott, who missed last week’s game, was listed at No. 1 at tailback. How much of an indication that is relative to Scott’s availability is tough to gauge since he’s been listed No. 1 all season but has now missed five games with an ankle injury.
“We’ll see where he’s at in terms of his injury,” Dantonio said. “He’s only played four games so there’s the possibility of redshirting him. We’ll look at those as we go. We’ll talk with him this week and see what happens.”
Two players who did return to the field last week — wide receiver Cody White and cornerback Josiah Scott — were listed as starters on the depth chart. Scott started and played all but one defensive play last week while White had two catches.